Friday, July 2, 2010

One Year Ago and Two More Yet to Come

As long time readers may remember, my soon to be wife, gave up practicing medicine in England to immigrate to the United States and marry me. I'm not sure why. But I do know she was tired of the chaos of socialized medicine over there and wanted to take a break for awhile. She got into doing medical research which she excelled at for a few years, even published a few papers, but being exposed to the American (at least pre-health care bill) style of medicine lured her back into the profession. But there was a rub. In order to practice medicine here in the United States, she had to take her U.S. Medical License Exam and undergo three years of residency training.

She applied a couple times at the closest training hospital which happened to be where she worked as a medical researcher. However, it was also home to a University known for their medicine program and was flush with new graduates looking to get into the residency program. My wife tried to increase her odds by doing volunteer residency where she basically shadowed a doctor for a month at a time but in the end, they were more interested in recent graduates than someone who had graduated a decade and a half earlier and had been out of the industry for almost five years.

So we made the difficult decision of looking further away and eventually my wife was accepted into the program in our capital city of Iowa, a place I have deemed the urban jungle. It is twice as far away as the nearest place which necessitated the need for renting an apartment where my wife could stay during the week. On the weekends, she either comes home or we go up there depending on if she is working those days or not. It meant that for a large part of the week, I would be holding down a full time job and raising my daughter by myself. I wasn't so sure that I could do that and had she been younger, I wouldn't have but as it turns out, we've been able to do just fine.

The reason that I write about all this is because if you pay attention to the counter on the left side down at the bottom of my sidebar, it now reads less than 730 days, i.e. she has one year completed and only two more to go. She is now considered a "senior" resident so although she has to call the shots, she has people that work for her now and do most of the dirty work. In a couple months, she will complete the final test of her medical license exam and officially be licensed to practice medicine in this country. Only two more years left. After nearly four years of dating across an ocean, two years 150 miles apart is a walk in the park.

When she finishes her residency, her plan it to move back to rural southeast Iowa and practice medicine among us impoverished folks. She has grown to like it here and best of all, people are literally begging for her to practice medicine here. I hope that it might someday equate to money being thrown at her but until then, the begging is reassuring. Doctors, like many people these days are flocking to the city so there is real competition there for jobs while out here, there isn't. I'm already pushing for interviews only in small riverside towns with an abundance of cheap river bluff top land.

19 comments:

PhilippinesPhil said...

Cool, gonna be a "country doctor." You probably already posted on it during one of my breaks from blogging, but how does she/you feel about the recent Healthcare Bill?

Ed said...

Phil - I'm not sure I have posted it directly on my blog though I have in the comment sections of other blogs. I think we both agree that there are a few good things to come out of this such as the end of pre-existing conditions. But in large part, we both feel that we just don't know what effect his bill will have other than to increase our taxes. Perhaps with some coaxing, maybe I can get her to write a guest piece on my blog with her views of the world of health care.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Ok, have you posted anything on HOW we can get control of spiraling health costs? Obviously, THIS bill is not going to do it. All it does is add more people to the health dole. What's the fix for continous increase of what it costs? My retired army buddy, an Obama man, believes doctors, nurses, health care specialists, and especially insurance companies, are gouging us all. So, he wants regulation. My pharmacist brother, who has been through a demanding law suit, wants regulation to control frivolous litigation and the use of the free market to control price. Me, I've depended on socialized military medicine my whole life, so I am not qualified nor do I know what the answer is....hmmm?

Ed said...

Phil - I think their are only two options for controlling the spiraling cost of government in general. Revolt or a massive recession (due to our bankruptcy) the likes we have yet to see or even imagine. I'm guessing the latter is the most likely of the two.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Ah, you skirt my question. The controlling spiraling HEALTH CARE costs? One of my smarter buddies says its the very nature of the way insurance companies do business that actualy causes most of the inflation... thoughts?

Vince said...

best of luck to both of you.

Ed said...

Phil - I think controlling health care costs is a much easier question to answer. I believe the lowest hanging fruit is tort reform. For my wife to open her practice, her liability premiums would be over a million dollars a year which is why most new doctors join a practice with group liability insurance. That premium cost is of course passed onto the consumer. The second thing I would do is privatize the industry and remove the government from the decision making process, the complete opposite approach to where we are heading. Anything our government touches is a money pit and I have no doubt that any sort of universal healthcare will be the same. But in order to do this, we would have to accept that healthcare is not a right and that your wealth status would limit/expand your healthcare options.

sage said...

Congratulations to the two of you for making it through the first year!

malor said...

congratulations! all the hard wrok will be worth it!

Ed said...

Thanks Sage & Malor!

Murf said...

So it is probably 2 years and 9 months before L.A. gets a little brother or sister? :-)

R. Sherman said...

Thank God she's willing to come "home" to practice. Good doctors are at a premium in rural areas, because the monetary allure of the "big city" is too great.

Cheers.

fullfreezer said...

Hurrah for sticking in SE Iowa. Good doctors are really hard to find down there. My parents can attest to that!
Congrats at getting through this far and best wishes for the next two years.
Judy

Vince said...

Happy fourth of July to all of you.

Beau said...

Wonderful news for your family, and congratulations to your wife. That's quite a journey!

edifice rex said...

YAAAYYYYYYYY! that's great!! I'm so happy for her and you!! congratulations and best wishes!!

geri said...

Congratulations! The great thing about both your sacrifice is that she's reassured of work wherever she goes recession or no recession and she doesn't have to have an employer.

TC said...

"After nearly four years of dating across an ocean, two years 150 miles apart is a walk in the park."

DETAILS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You dated for almost four years across an ocean?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Bone said...

I guess I'm not a long time reader because I had no idea. How cool!

I hope the next 700+ days flies by for ya'll.